Improve reading comprehension
There are many ways to implement reading strategies that will improve your reading comprehension. The key to
improving your reading skills is to read regularly and you will be more to read more often if you enjoy the
experience. So lets start by making the reading experience as enjoyable as possible.
Improve reading comprehension by setting up a quiet, comfortable place
Step one is to set up a quiet reading place. Take a little time to make your reading place comfortable. You will
need adequate lighting, so a lamp beside you is a good idea. Select a comfortable chair or lounge and have some
cushions and somewhere you can tuck your feet up. Being relaxed when you are reading is the key. Before starting to
read get yourself a drink and a snack so you can satisfy any hunger pains without having to get up.
Pick a time to read when you are not too tired. Your mind needs to be alert so you can concentrate on the text.
Often when we are tired, our mind tends to wander and you can get to the end of a paragraph and not recall anything
you have read.
Improve reading comprehension by reviewing the book before your read
Step two is to look through the book or article before reading it. Read through the chapter headings, read the
title and any blurb provided about the reading material. This will help set the context of what you are about to
read. If there are any illustrations, have a close look at them and try and determine what the reading is going to
Improve reading comprehension by re-reading the introduction before reading
Step three is to begin reading. Remember that it does take a little time to become comfortable with the author's
writing style and to get into any story or article. If you are reading a novel the beginning chapters are often
about setting the scene, and introducing the characters, so usually it will not be until the third or fourth
chapter that you get to the actual story. If you are reading a text book or article, the first section will be the
introduction, it is a good idea to re-read introductions to ensure comprehension as this will provide a summary of
the whole document.
Improve reading comprehension by monitoring yourself
Step four is about monitoring your own comprehension as you read. Be aware of what sections are not making sense.
Re-read the section once. If it is still unclear, look back to the text that lead up to the confusing section and
then read forward to check if the next section adds clarity to what you have read.
Don't let a confusing section of text stop you from reading further. If you have tried re-reading, looking back and
reading forward and the section still does not make sense, just keep reading. Sometimes as you read things become
clearer as the author is able to give more context.
Improve reading comprehension by not worrying about speed
Take your time. It is much better to read slowly and comprehend what your are reading than to rush through,
complete the book but be unable to recall or understand what you have read. Have a note pad by your side to take
notes about important information, key characters or things you need to remember. Taking notes helps you review
what you have read to ensure understanding.
Improve reading comprehension through practice, practice, practice
The key to reading well, is to read more often. Reading a little everyday is better than reading for longer but
less often. The more you read, the better reader you will become.
Improve reading comprehension by summarising
After reading, summarise what you have read in that session. Read through any notes you have taken to ensure they
are comprehensive. This will make it easier for you to understand your notes when you refer back to them at a later
date. Ask yourself some basic questions about the reading to reinforce any learning.
Improve reading comprehension by joining a book club
Sharing a reading experience with others is a great way to expand learning and
improve reading comprehension. Join a local book club or an online book club and read and share with others. Here
is a link to a good online bookclub.
Summary of reading strategies
By actively thinking about what you are reading, you will develop good reading
comprehension habits. Don't just read, think about the words while you read and look for meaning at every
opportunity. Making sense of the written word is the key. When you can read, understand and think further about the
reading experience you will enjoy reading, and when you enjoy the reading experience you are more likely to read
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